“I know not how I may seem to others, but to myself I am but a small child wandering upon the vast shores of knowledge, every now and then finding a small bright pebble to content myself with.”
Plato (428 BC-348 BCE)

I’m not one for following recipes or patterns. I like to experiment and, well, change things. It should be mentioned that I never take what the cookbooks says seriously when it comes to adding ingredients in what order and how, or how much. My chocolate chip cookies always have 3x as much chips as called for and 3x as much vanilla. With a little cinnamon and brown sugar thrown in for kicks. I hate bland (cookies).

Anyway. Mum was in excrutiating pain today because of the incoming low pressure system, so I got full reign of the kitchen and the duty privilege of making the minestrone for tomorrow night’s Channukah festival. It should also be mentioned that Dad and I found organic, kosher parve, all-veggie soup stock at the local store on sale – is that A Sign or what?

Back onto the minestrone. Mum had carefully pulled out all the ingredients the recipe in Joy called for, so I would have “everything ready”. Right. Once she went to lie down, I pulled out even more ingredients and put away a quarter of the stock. I did have a small panic attack when the soup got about this high in the giant (no, Titan) stock pot we have:

(good thing I held back some of that stock, eh??)

But, once the orzo was in (another, ah, interpretation) and it had been simmering for about an hour, I called upon the folks to be my lab mice quality control inspectors. They both gave me dubious looks, but were willing to try it once they caught a wiff after I dragged them bodily to the kitchen.

All that extra rosemary, basil, parsley, and other miscellanious herbs helped. Oh, and a hunk of parmesian thrown in to cut down on the acidity, as well. Trick I learned from a professor who learned it from friends in Italy. Yummy trick, too. Especially since the smell of the veggie stock alone was enough to make me blanch. Rosemary is one of the bestest herbs ever.

And, back to the soup… I told them that there was too much to transport (did you see the level of the soup??) and that minestrone was for dinner. Hahaha. Luckily, it didn’t suck and tasted quite good (Dad actually had a second helping and asked if we could keep some for ourselves). So, I suppose, that my own way worked better (even Mum admitted that chick peas and potatoes really added to the body and flavor) for once.

Trust me, no one is more surprised as me. I was so certain, as I was making faces over the stock and peeling potatoes, that I was about to waste enough decent food to feed starving children in Kenya that my actions bordered on criminal. Luckily, I was wrong – and we have enough soup to feed at least 30 festival-goers tomorrow night.

So, in the end, my list of ingredients (this is for me to refer to later, should I ever want yummyyummy minestrone again – I will, of course, likely quarter the recipe):

  • 6 32oz boxes of vegetable stock (I would have preferred to have made my own, but…)
  • a 1oz hunk of parmesian thrown into the stock to melt down
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary (thrown in whole and fished out after 2 hours)
  • a very large handful of whole basil leaves
  • a handful of shreaded parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of herbs de provence
  • 2 giant cans of peeled, canned, whole tomatoes (diced and thrown in to help the stock fill out)
  • 4 yukon gold potatoes (peeled, diced and thrown in for a 1/2 hour before everything else)

stir fried in extra virgin olive oil and then thrown into the stock:

  • 6 celery stalks (diced)
  • 5 carrots (peeled and diced)
  • a couple handfulls of baby spinach (hand shredded)
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 4 stalks of baby leeks
  • 2 cups fresh chopped green beans
  • 2 cloves of garlic (mashed)


  • 1 can chick peas
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can mixed lentils

and then, finally, a 1lb box of orzo pasta (left to simmer for 15 mins). I have to say I’m quite pleased with the result and that my Dad couldn’t complain about all the running around we had to do to find organic ingredients (when in doubt…). So, yeah. Small victory.

You might have guessed that I didn’t get much knitting done today. And you’d be right! I didn’t get any knitting done today. Not one stitch, actually. I did work on duplicate stitching “that Judaica thing” which, incidentally, will not be ready for the festival tomorrow. No one’s surprised about that.

Something I did manage to accomplish tonight, after soup was made and the kitchen cleaned, was working on Elektra’s fleece. First, I had to make a new Scotch-tension thingamabob, as the rubber band had snapped sometime in the last couple of days and the string was frayed horribly (I have wheel imps, I tell you!)

But, I managed to fill a bobbin halfway before calling it quits. And here’s a nice picture to prove I’m not delusional…

I still have no idea what I going to make with all this yarn. Well, actually, I have too many ideas.

Final note: I am to World War I (aka The Great War) in No Idle Hands and still find myself fascinated. I even watched Iron Jawed Angels last night. I got a lot of reading done today as I waited for the minestrone to finish simmering.

Wow, look at the time. I might actually make it to bed before midnight tonight…

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